Intelligence: What is it?

Intelligence.  When you think of the word, what comes to mind?  It would not be surprising if your notion of intelligence is subjectively variable.  Those around us view the world uniquely through their own lenses of perception and cognition.  While observing replicate stimuli with a causal observer, you will find that their cognitive processing will differentiate from that of your own due to myriad of external factors.  For one, knowledge or the amount thereof is not comparatively equal amongst individuals.  Environmental, cultural, familial and socioeconomic status are a few factors that play a vital role in shaping our thought processes.

Knowledge is the acquisition and retention of external stimuli presented; it should be easily accessible when needed and is multipurpose in nature. Concurrently applying individual pieces of knowledge learned, the novelty of ideas produced, the rate and the efficiency of retrieval and the actualization or extent thereof is known as intelligence — the retention, timely retrieval and practical utilization of cognitive resources.  Intelligence is not static, increasing and decreasing through an individual’s lifetime.  Maturity of age in addition to cognitive challenging in positive, reinforcing surroundings greatly influence levels of intelligence.  In children and adolescents especially, rapid neural connections form links and integrate retained knowledge with that of newly acquired.

Retaining concisely equivocal knowledge as a counterpart over the same duration of time, rate of cognitive retrieval and hierarchical processing are two factors that contribute to one’s perceived intelligence.  Hierarchical processing is influenced by innate ability determined by genetics along with external variables such as rigor of mental acuity influenced as a factor of presented challenges in one’s given environment.  The greater the stimulation in one’s surroundings, the more fluidity of thought one begins to possess.   When this occurs, the amount of knowledge that is retained as time progresses also contributes to what constitutes  as intelligence.

Being multi-faceted, fitness of intelligence, cannot be durably assessed using standardized testing.  As natural individualistic traits differ, innate and learned, numerically assigning a number labeling one’s transient intelligence quotient serves very little purpose in determining academic and personal successes.  Given the proper tools and resources, an individual’s success, personal and academic, is not only determined by one’s own ambitiousness in the acquisition of knowledge but also by one’s learning environment.  mounier